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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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GAA chief backs move to bring All-Ireland finals forward

Paraic Duffy believes the proposal would help take the strain off the club fixtures schedule.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

GAA DIRECTOR-GENERAL PARAIC Duffy is hoping a proposal to bring the All-Ireland finals forward by two weeks will help alleviate the congested club calendar.

Duffy conceded that there is a problem with club fixtures and believes that the proposal to amend rule 6.30, to play the All-Ireland football final on the first Sunday in September and the hurling final two weeks previously, would help correct the issue.

The proposal will go before Congress in Carlow next weekend.

“We’ve got the balance wrong between the inter-county game and the club game,” Duffy told RTÉ’s Saturday Sport.

“The inter-county game is hugely important, and vital in terms of promotion, but club players are suffering as a result. We need to do better by our players and free up some more time.

“The proposals we’re putting forward to Congress are quite modest but they’re pragmatic and if people can grasp the core reasons behind them, I’d be hopeful that they will make the changes that are necessary.”

“If the All-Ireland finals are brought forward it makes (finishing competitions within) the calendar year possible but we need to get this motion through first before we can run with a calendar year.”

And while Duffy believes the proposal would help sort the club fixture issue, he admits that it is only the start in terms of finding a long-term solution.

“Club players are not getting a fair deal and in too many counties, they’re waiting until the All-Irelands are over before their club championships seriously begin.

“They end up playing games week after week in the worst of weather as the year goes on. This is not going to solve the problem completely but it will be a start.

“Players are entitled to 13 days free of club fixtures before an inter-county championship game but very often that’s extended because team managers ask for three weeks or four weeks.”

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